History suggests that the celebration of the Magna Mater is the oldest known religious cult in the world.
From six thousand years we find Magna Mater known by various images and by various names, but in each situation, she is known for one common attribute: "The Mother of the Gods". She was known as Cybele in the region of the Aegean Sea, Damkina, Goddess of Fecundity to the Babylonians... fecundity referring to her 'marriage with the earth and sky'. Among the Euphrates she was called Koubaba, in Greece, Gaia or Gheea "Mother Earth". She was known as Terra, from the Latin 'Terra Mater', the goddess of miners in the Eastern area of Europe. Egyptians called her Isis; in Akkadia her name was Ishtar.
Magna Mater transcends world history: her mysteries and many presentations have inspired poets and artists, simple mortals or kings, with many kings dedicating her temples in great number. For many religions she is eternal, existing from the beginning of time, the bearer of the world and all life populating this planet (plants, animals and humans). The Romans identified this Goddess with the Greek Rhea, and gave her the name Magna Mater, the Great Mother.
It is not just Newtonian physics that has blinded us in this day.
It is the common corner street light. I doubt you can find a current urban dweller that even knows what the Big Dipper is, let alone be able to tell you how to find it. (I will give you a hint. You go out in the dark and look up.) In this day of instant communication, when things 24 hours old are “so yesterday,” the concept of something 25,000 years plus in scope is beyond us.
But we have lost more than we realise. We now see ourselves as separate to all that it is, instead of an integral part of it.
Cognito wrote:Conversely, when we have those fleeting moments where "out there" and "in here" merge, the experience is life altering. Some use drugs to achieve that mental state, others train themselves, and yet others stumble upon altered reality quite by accident. I think I am in the third category.
This book is the ultimate book for understanding the beliefs and practices of Shamanism, written by one of the world's foremost experts on religion and sociology. I cannot stress to you enough how thoroughly Eliade manages to cover the subject. A good portion of the book focuses on the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia, the heartlands of Shamanism. Amongst the Mongols, Yakut, Chuckchi, Saami (Lapps) and other people of that region Shamanism was first observed, and is stil practiced today in many regions. Eliade goes into great depth about the beliefs and symbolism, about the clothing and ornamentation, about the meaning of ritual tools and amulets and much more. Everything from the axis mundi to ecstasy and trance states to helper spirits to Shamanic ideas of death and illness is covered in superb detail. But Eliade goes far beyond a simple survey of Shamanic beliefs and practices, almost literally taking you into the world of the Shaman. After reading this book, you will understand the Shamanic mindset and world view far more than you ever thought.
And, as I said, Eliade goes far beyond the traditional forms of Shamanism in Siberia and Central Asia. In this encyclopedic work, Eliade explores the Shamanic traditions of the Americas (North and South), Australia, Indonesia, Oceania, Tibet, China and beyond. Even the Shamanic traditions of the ancient Indo-Euorpeans, such as the Greek myth of Orpheus, Persian views of the after world and the Germanic God Odin, are given treatment.
This book is very lengthy, well written, extensivily bibliographed and filled with detailed accounts and accurate information on virtually all facets of Shamanism. I cannot recommend this book enough. Even after all these years, "Shamanism" remains perhaps the definitive book on Shamanic beliefs and thought. To truely understand Shamanism and its role in Siberia/Central Asia, you must read this book.
Cogs, I don't want to worry you, but the third kind is how shamans have traditionally been trained for thousands upon thousands of years.
The vivification of the Mundane Egg is allegorically represented in the temple of Daibod, in Japan, by a nest egg, which is shown floating in an expanse of waters against which a bulb (everywhere an emblem of generative energy, and prolific heat, the Sun) is striking with his horns.
Near Lemisso, in the Island of Cyprus, is still to be seen a gigantic egg-shaped vase, which is supposed to represent the Mundane or Orphic Egg. It is of stone, and measures thirty feet in circumference. Upon one side, in a semi-circular niche, is sculptured a bull, the emblem of productive energy.
...Many other nations of the ancient world, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Phœnicians, and the Indo-Scythiac nations of Europe participated. They not only supported the propriety of the allegory ... from the perfection of its external form, but fancifully extended the allusion to its interior composition, comparing the pure white shell to the fair expanse of heaven; the fluid, transparent white, to the circumambient air, and the more solid yolk to the central earth.
Even the Polynesians entertained the same general notions. The tradition of the Sandwich Islanders is that a bird (with them it is an emblem of Deity) laid an egg upon the waters, which burst of itself and produced the Islands.
Does this mean I can use the argument that if we don't make love the sun might not come up?
A small detail; the book of Enoch did not make the cut for being in the Cannon. At least not in the Western, or Roman. I will have to check on the Eastern.
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